China plans to put an artificial moon in orbit above Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province, from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in Sichuan by 2020.
Chengdu's artificial moon has already been met with criticism from skeptics and concerned citizens who argue that the light will have adverse effects on animals and astronomical observation, People's Daily points out. The fake moon will supposedly be able to light up an area up to about 50 miles in diameter, and also be remotely controllable for light precision.
The idea for the project reportedly came from a French artist "who imagined hanging a necklace made of mirrors above the Earth which could reflect sunshine through the streets of Paris all year round". The angles of these wings can be tweaked in order to create a precise illumination range of several dozen meters.
According to Independent UK, Wu Chunfeng, chairman of Chengdu aerospace science and technology microelectronics system research institute, disclosed this at a national mass innovation and entrepreneurship activity held in the city.
He said the testing of the illumination started years ago and is now ready.
The southwestern Chinese city of Chengdu intends to launch a fake moon into space in that researchers expect would orbit about 500 kilometres above the earth.
Some expressed concerns about light pollution and potentially negative impact on animals.
The three new man-made moons can take turns reflecting sunlight as they will not always be in the best position relative to the sun, and together they can illuminate an area of around 3,600 to 6,400 sq km on Earth for 24 hours if desired, he said.
The US and Russian Federation have explored the idea of a man-made moon in the past, hoping it can bring convenience to night-time activities.
The device, dubbed Znamya 2, collapsed soon after take-off and was subsequently abandoned.